5+ Year Member
Dec 4, 2013
Karachi, Pakistan
Medical Student
Hi! I am a third year pediatric resident. I did not apply for fellowship match this year but now I am having serious thoughts about it. I was unsure about fellowship so I decided that I would do general pediatrics for now and consider any specialty later if I am not satisfied with my practice. However, I am an IMG and on visa and I am not liking the job options. I was really hoping to find a job in the state (or nearby) where my family lives but no luck with it. So now I am thinking about fellowship scramble. I know there are unmatched spots every year but I am just not sure how the scramble works. My impression is that NRMP releases the unfilled programs and candidates so they can contact each other. Is there a way that I can have access to that list if I have not applied. Do I need to make an ERAS account (not sure if it is even possible to do now) to upload my documents or I can email directly? Also, in terms of my LOR which I will have to ask my attending now, what do I tell them what specialty I am applying for as it will depend on what is available at that time. If anyone has any experience with this process, I would really appreciate any help. Thanks!
Jun 23, 2019
Resident [Any Field]

I’m confused. You want a fellowship but don’t care in what? What will happen when you finish fellowship if there are no jobs in that field near your family? This idea does not seem very well thought out IMO
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15+ Year Member
Aug 7, 2005
Fellow [Any Field]
And yes. The only way to participate in the scramble is to go unmatched so you would need eras all filled out and submitted.
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10+ Year Member
Oct 28, 2006
Attending Physician
I believe your residency program director can tell you what which programs did not fill during the match. You would not be able to participate in the official match/scramble but you could contact programs with openings after the process is over about a position outside of the match.

It would be smart to spend the next few months carefully narrowing your goal down to a single specialty based on interest and tendency to not fill. Once you decide, try to improve your application as best as you can in the short time frame, connect with attendings in that field at your institution, and put a lot of thought into you personal statement. Your situation explains why you are applying to fellowship now (and should be downplayed), a personal statement that validates why you chose that specific field to apply to and faculty that can vouch for you having approached them months ago will look a lot better than coming across as having spun a wheel after match day and picked a specialty at random.

The good news is there are several specialties that often have openings at reputable training facilities and these specialties are often relatively in demand nationally because so few people are entering these fields.


10+ Year Member
Jul 6, 2006
Fellow [Any Field]
I'm fairly certain there's not a 'scramble' for fellowship matches--you either are matched or not (unlike in residency where you find out if you matched and can participate in SOAP). I have a little bit of a weird path, and ended up being named chief resident much later than expected (halfway through my third year) and my attendings started emailing me about unfilled fellowship positions in my area of interest the day of match day, thinking I didn't have a job lined up for next year yet. My friend also realized fellowship applications run on a different timeline than she expected, so delayed applying, but managed to find a spot after match day that went unfilled and got it by emailing the program director and chatting with them.

Most places will announce openings after match day, so you just have to wait and see. Your program director can help you out as well.

It will work out better if you're interested in a less competitive fellowship, as they tend to have more spots open at the end of match due to lower numbers of applicants. But don't go to a random fellowship just because you want a job.
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